Cannes Lions

Digital Detox Day


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Following The Royal Society of Public Health’s report that found social media to be more addictive than drinking alcohol or smoking, we decided to launch Digital Detox Day (DDD). Our primary objectives were to raise awareness of the impact social media can have on our mental health, and encourage people to be more mindful of how they use their devices.

In the lead up to DDD, we asked participants to post a selfie with the word ‘OFF’ in a circle on the palm of their hand on social media to back our campaign to ‘Switch Off 4 Mental Health’ on Saturday 5th September. In addition, we collaborated with a global cosmetics retailer to create a bath bomb that would be sold in 106 stores across the UK and Ireland, 13 countries across Europe and 3 in Asia with the goal of raising £200,000 for global grassroots mental health organisations.


When it came to selecting our target demographic, all parties involved shared a primary audience of 18-35 year olds primarily living in the United Kingdom. This is the same demographic that’s most affected by the mental health implications brought on by social media use, according to our research.

By promoting the campaign on social media platforms, we teamed up with a wide range of influencers and celebrities who helped amplify our visibility. We benefited from referral marketing as influencers shared their involvement by posting a photo with a circle on their hand and using the hashtag #DigitalDetoxDay. Throughout the campaign, our approach did not aim to vilify social media. Instead, we helped users reflect on their relationship with popular platforms by providing them with the tips and advice they needed in order to set boundaries and interact with social media in a way that enriched their lives.


Our official campaign launched on 29th August 2020, with a ‘hero’ film published on two collaborators' Instagram and YouTube accounts. Then came the lead up to Digital Detox Day on 5th September. Based on our research, we decided to speak on five key topics linked to social media and mental health amongst young people. For each topic, we filmed a 20-minute long panel discussion with some world renowned influencers, experts and specialists.

In the run-up to DDD, we shared informative content daily via campaign social channels about the benefits of switching off. These posts not only encouraged people to participate, but also acted as a countdown, generating buzz. To further celebrate and promote the campaign, on DDD, Piccadilly Circus switched off its billboard for the first time in over two decades, following a display of our campaign posters.


The campaign was a great success, reaching over 646.9 million people on socials from the campaign accounts alone and was shared by the likes of Sam Smith, Jade Thirlwall and Rita Ora amongst many other well known figures. Following the end of the campaign, we sent out a survey to those who took part and were pleased to find that over 97% of participants reported that the campaign benefited their mental health, with almost 100% saying they would take part again.

In terms of press reach, the campaign was featured in 48 pieces of coverage, including Grazia, Daily Mail, People, Metro and The Sun, with a potential PR reach of 3.6 billion. We also passed our fundraising target, raising over £209,000 with the bath bomb being the retailer’s number one sold product in the UK and Ireland in the week it launched.

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